MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WHNT) – The U.S Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 Roe vs. Wade case, ending constitutional protections for abortion that have been in place for almost 50 years.
The decision of whether or not to allow abortion access now falls to each state individually. Thirteen states across the country have a “trigger law” in place to ban abortion, Alabama is not yet one of them.
In May 2019, the Alabama legislature passed a bill, later signed into law by Governor Kay Ivey, that would make performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony punishable by 10 to 99 years or life in prison for the provider.
The law’s only exception would be when the mother’s health is at serious risk, no exception was made for rape or incest. It was set to go into effect on November 15, 2019.
In October 2019, a federal judge blocked the law from going into effect after a lawsuit was filed by several women’s centers across the state and Planned Parenthood. The lawsuit claims the law violates their patients’ substantive due process to liberty and privacy.
When the injunction was put in place in 2019 Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said the objective was to get the case to the U.S Supreme Court in the hope of overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
Roe legalized abortion nationwide, while Casey affirmed abortion rights but said that the states could enact limited restrictions.
At the time the state did not file an appeal against the injunction but Steve Marshall said Friday afternoon that his office plans to start moving these court cases through the system.
“Because neither the United States Constitution nor the Alabama Constitution provides a right to abortion, Alabama laws that prohibit abortion and that have not been enjoined by a court are in full effect. For those laws that have been halted by courts, the State will immediately file motions to dissolve those injunctions,” Marshall said in a release after the Supreme Court’s ruling.
Alabama Representative Terri Collins (R-Decatur) sponsored the bill in the Alabama State Senate.
She said, “My reaction is to thank God for answered prayer and to celebrate life. It’s a great day for our country, it’s never been right to take the life of a child. Now each state can craft what they think best fits their people at the state level. I think that’s how it should be.”
When asked about any possible changes to the state law she said that the next state legislative session isn’t until March of 2023 and the state will just have to wait to see where everything lands.